(1) The refining of the emotional body.
The emotional body is simply a great reflector. It takes colour and movement from its surroundings. It receives the impress of every passing desire. It contacts every whim and fancy in its environment; every current sets it in motion; every sound causes it to vibrate, unless the aspirant inhibits such a state of affairs, and trains it to receive and register only those impressions which come from the intuitional level via the Higher Self, and therefore via [Page 24] the atomic subplane. The aim of the aspirant should be to so train the emotional body that it will become still and clear as a mirror, so that it may reflect perfectly. . . . What words should describe the emotional body? The words: still, serene, unruffled, quiet, at rest, limpid and clear.… How should this be accomplished? In several ways, some at the direction of the aspirant, and some at the direction of the Master.
a. By the constant watching of all desires, motives and wishes, that cross the horizon daily, and by the subsequent emphasising of all those that are of a high order, and by inhibition of the lower.
b. By a constant daily attempt to contact the Higher Self, and to reflect His
c. By definite periods daily directed to the stilling of the emotional body. . . . Each aspirant must discover for himself wherein he yields most easily to violent vibrations, such as fear, worry, personality desire of any kind, personality love of anything or anyone, discouragement, over- sensitiveness to public opinion; then he must overcome that vibration, by imposing on it a new rhythm, definitely eliminating and constructing.
d. By work done on the emotional body at night, under the direction of more advanced egos, working under the guidance of a Master. (2 – 337/9).
(2) When illusion and glamour have both been overcome, the astral body fades out in the human consciousness. There is no desire left for the separated self. Kama-manas disappears, and man is then regarded as consisting essentially of soul - mind - brain, within the body nature. This is a great mystery, and its significance can only be understood when a man has controlled his personality, and eliminated all aspects of glamour and of illusion. This is accomplished by accomplishing. This mastery is achieved by mastering. This elimination of desire is brought about by conscious eliminating. Get therefore to work, my brothers, and clarificaton of the problem must inevitably ensue. (10 – 66).
See also: "Astral Plane".
In the training to be given during the next few decades, the unfoldment of astral vision and hearing, will be entirely ruled out, or (if it exists) will eventually have to be overcome. The true disciple has endeavoured to [Page 25] centre himself on the mental plane, with the object in view of transferring his consciousness higher still, into the wider and inclusive awareness of the soul.
His aim is to include the higher, and there is no need for him, at this stage, to regain that astral facility which was the possession, as you well know, of the little evolved races of the earth, and of many of the higher animals. Later on, when adeptship has been reached, he can function on the astral plane should he so choose, but it should be remembered that the Master works with the soul aspect of humanity (and of all forms), and does not work with their astral bodies. This has been oft forgotten by teachers both in the East and the West.
. . . May I say therefore, to students that their main objective is to become aware of the soul, to cultivate soul consciousness, and to learn to live and work as souls. (4 – 166).
See also: "Psychic Powers".
(1) One of the most vital things every aspirant has to do, is to learn to understand the astral plane, to comprehend its nature, and to learn both to stand free from it and then to work on it. . . . The moment a man can "see" on the astral plane, and can achieve equilibrium and hold steady in the midst of its vibrating forces, that moment he is ready for initiation. . . .
The appearance of the astral plane when first definitely seen by the "opened eye" of the aspirant, is one of dense fog, confusion, changing forms, interpenetrating and intermingling colours, and is of such a kaleidoscopic appearance that the hopelessness of the enterprise seems overwhelming. It is not light, or starry clear. It is apparently impenetrable disorder, for it is the meeting ground of forces.. ..
. . . The astral plane is the plane of illusion, of glamour, and of a distorted presentation of reality. The reason for this is that every individual in the world is busy working in astral matter, and the potency of human desire and of world desire produces that constant "outpicturing" and form building which leads to the most concrete effects of astral matter. . . . Add to these forms that persistent and steadily growing scenario we call the "akashic records", which concern the emotional history of the past, add the activities of the discarnate lives which are passing through the astral plane, either out of or towards incarnation, add the potent desire, purified and intelligent, [Page 26]of all superhuman Lives, including those of the occult planetary Hierarchy, and the sum total of forces present, is stupendous. All play upon, around and through every human being, and according to the calibre of his physical body, and the condition of his centres will be his response. Through this illusory panorama, the aspirant has to make his way, finding the clue or thread which will lead him out of the maze, and holding fast to each tiny fragment of reality as it presents itself to him, learning to distinguish truth from glamour, the permanent from the impermanent, and the certainty from the unreal. . . .
No glamour, no illusion can long hold the man who has set himself the task of treading the razor-edged Path which leads through the wilderness, through the thick-set forest, through the deep waters of sorrow and distress, through the valley of sacrifice and over the mountains of vision to the gate of Deliverance. He may travel sometimes in the dark (and the illusion of darkness is very real); he may travel sometimes in a light so dazzling and bewildering that he can scarcely see the way ahead; he may know what it is to falter on the Path, and to drop under the fatigue of service and of strife; he may be temporarily sidetracked and wander down the by-paths of ambition, of self-interest and of material enchantment, but the lapse will be but brief. (4 – 221/3).
(2) There is no astral plane except in the consciousness of the fourth kingdom in nature, for man is "under illusion" in a sense different to the conscious awareness of any other kingdom – subhuman or superhuman.
I despair in making my meaning clear. How can one who is subject to the illusions of the senses, as are all human creatures, conceive of the state of consciousness of those who have freed themselves from the illusions of the astral plane, or realise the state of awareness of those forms of life which have not yet developed astral consciousness? It is the dual nature of the mind which causes this illusion. . . .
Yet it is this very illusion which renders up to man eventually the secret password into the Kingdom of God, and brings about his release. It is this maya itself which serves to guide him into truth and knowledge; it is on the plane of the astral that the heresy of separateness has to be overcome. . . . The secret science of the Master of Wisdom is the secret of how to dissipate the fogs and mist and darkness and gloom, which are produced by the union of the fires in the early stages. The secret of the Master is the discovery that there is no astral plane; he finds that the astral plane is a figment of the imagination and has been created through the uncontrolled use of the creative imagination, and the misuse of the magical powers. (4 – 614/5).
(3) I have said elsewhere, that there is no such thing as the astral plane or the astral body. Just as the physical body is made up of matter which is not regarded as a principle, so the astral body – as far as the mind nature is concerned – is in the same category. This is a difficult matter for you to grasp, because desire and emotion are so real and so devastatingly important. But – speaking literally – from the angle of the mental plane, the astral body is a "figment of the imagination"; it is not a principle. The massed use of the imagination in the service of desire, has nevertheless constructed an illusory glamorous world, the world of the astral plane. During physical incarnation, and when man is not upon the Path of Discipleship, the astral plane is very real, with a vitality and a life all its own. After the first death (the death of the physical body) it still remains equally real. But its potency slowly dies out; the mental man comes to realise his own true state of consciousness (whether developed or undeveloped), and the second death becomes possible and takes place. This phase covers the Process of Elimination. (17 – 409).
(4) Even though there is no astral plane, from the standpoint of the Master, yet thousands of millions recognise it, and labour in its delusive sphere, and are there aided by the initiated disciple, working from the higher corresponding levels. (18 – 65).
See also: "Astral Body" and (6 – 377).
(1) That astrology is a science, and a coming science, is true. That astrology in its highest aspect and its true interpretation, will enable man eventually to focus his understanding, and to function rightly, is equally true. That in the revelations that astrology will make in time to come will be found the secret of the true co-ordination between soul and form, is also correct. But that astrology is not yet to be found. Too much is overlooked and too little known, to make astrology the exact science that many claim it is. The claim will be fulfilled at some future date, but the time is not yet.
. . . The claims of the astrologers as to the reality of the energies playing upon the human organism, can be seen to be true; their claims as to their capacity to interpret, are for the most part unfounded. So little is really known by the highest intelligence on the planet; for forget not, that the adepts utilise primarily the intuition.
The energy of the particular constellation or sign in which a man is born, is more deeply significant than has ever yet been suggested. It embodies or indicates his present problem, sets the pace or tempo of his life, and is related to the quality of his personality. It governs, if I may so express it, the . . . activity aspect of his life during incarnation. (4 – 434/5).
(2) The solar system must no longer be regarded as a point around which the zodiac revolves, or through which the sun passes in its great cycle of approximately 25,000 years. Astrologers with insight may deny that this is the commonly accepted attitude. Yet – for purposes of clarity and in connection with the general public – the inference is permitted and accepted by the ignorant. Upon this theory anent the zodiac rests very largely what we call the Great Illusion, and I would have you bear this in mind as you study with me the newer approaches of this greatest and oldest of all sciences. Astrology is a science which must be restored to its original beauty and truth, before the world can gain a truer perspective, and a more just and accurate appreciation of the divine Plan, as it is expressed at this time through the Wisdom of the Ages.
The second statement which I would make, is that astrology is essentially the purest presentation of occult truth in the world at this time, because it is the science which deals with those conditioning and governing energies and forces, which play through and upon the whole field of space, and all that is found within that field. When this fact is grasped and the sources of those energies are better comprehended, and the nature of the field of space is correctly understood, we shall then see a far wider and at the same time, a more closely related horizon; the relationships between individual, planetary, systemic and cosmic entities, will be grasped, and we shall then begin to live scientifically. It is this scientific living which it is the immediate purpose of astrology to bring about.
. . . The modern investigator likes to believe that on him impinge, and through him flow all those energies, which come from the sign in which the sun "finds" itself at the time of his birth. He regards himself also as responsive to the forces of the various planets as they govern the houses in his horoscope, and he believes that his life trends and circumstances are thus determined. . . . Small allowance has been made for the energies which play upon our planet all the time from other constellations, or from the many "hidden" planets. Of these, the Ageless Wisdom claims that there are around seventy in our solar system.
. . . I shall not, therefore, deal with the subject of esoteric astrology from the standpoint of the horoscope at all. Universal relationships, the interplay [Page 29] of energies, the nature of what lies behind the Great Illusion, the deluding "appearances of things as they are", and the destiny of our planet, of the kingdoms in nature, and of humanity as a whole – these will constitute the major part of our theme.
This brings me to the third statement, which is so basic and fundamental, that I would ask you to pause and contemplate it, even though you grasp not its full implications as yet. The Ancient Wisdom teaches that "space is an entity". It is with the life of this entity, and with the forces and energies, the impulses and the rhythms, the cycles and the times and seasons, that esoteric astrology deals. (16 – 4/7).
(3) In esoteric astrology we are. . . . dealing with the Life and Lives which inform the "points of light" within the universal Life. Constellations solar systems, planets, kingdoms in nature, and microscopic man, are all of them the result of the activity and the manifestation of energy, of certain Lives, whose cycle of expression, and whose infinite purposes, lie outside the comprehension of the most advanced and illumined minds on our planet.
The next point for each of you to grasp, is the fact that the ether of space, is the field in and through which the energies from the many originating Sources play. We are, therefore, concerned with the etheric body of the planet, of the solar system, and of the seven solar systems of which our system is one, as well as with the general and vaster etheric body of the universe, in which we are located. I employ the word "located" here with deliberation, and because of the inferences to which it leads. This vaster field, as well as the smaller and more localised fields, provides the medium of transmission for all the energies which play upon and through our solar system, our planetary spheres, and all forms of life upon these spheres. It forms one unbroken field of activity, in constant, ceaseless motion – an eternal medium for the exchange and transmission of energies.
In connection with this, and in order more correctly to understand, it will be useful to study individual man; in this way we can arrive at a faint comprehension of the basic and underlying truth. Students should never forget the Law of Analogy as an interpretive agency. Esotericism teaches (and modern science is rapidly arriving at the same conclusion), that underlying the physical body and its comprehensive and intricate system of nerves, is a vital or etheric body, which is the counterpart and the true form, of the outer and tangible phenomenal aspect. It is likewise the medium for the transmission of force to all parts of the human frame, and the agent of the indwelling life and consciousness. It determines and conditions the physical body, for it is itself the repository and the transmitter of energy from the [Page 30] various subjective aspects of man, and also from the environment in which man (both inner and outer man) finds himself.
Two other points should be added. First: the individual etheric body is not an isolated and separated human vehicle but is, in a peculiar sense, an integral part of the etheric body of that entity, which we have called the human family; this kingdom in nature, through its etheric body, is an integral part of the planetary etheric body; the planetary etheric body is not separated off from the etheric bodies of other planets, but all of them in their totality, along with the etheric body of the sun, constitute the etheric body of the solar system. This is related to the etheric bodies of the six solar systems which, with ours, form a cosmic unity, and into these pour energies and forces from certain great constellations. The field of space is etheric in nature, and its vital body is composed of the totality of etheric bodies of all constellations, solar systems and planets which are found therein. Throughout this cosmic web, there is a constant circulation of energies and forces, and this constitutes the scientific basis of the astrological theories. Just as the forces of the planet and of the inner spiritual man (to mention only one factor among many), pour through the etheric body of the individual man upon the physical plane, and condition his outer expression, activities, and qualities, so do the varying forces of the universe pour through every part of the etheric body at that entity we call space, and condition and determine the outer expression, the activities and qualities of every form found within the cosmic periphery.
The second point I would make, is that within the human etheric body, there are to be found seven major force centres, which are in the nature of distributing agencies and electrical batteries, providing dynamic force and qualitative energy to man; they produce definite effects upon his outer physical manifestation. Through their constant activity his quality appears, his ray tendencies begin to emerge, and his point in evolution is clearly indicated.
This "control of form through a septenate of energies" (as it is defined in the Old Commentary), is an unalterable rule in the inner government of our universe, and of our particular solar system, as well as in the case of individual man. There are, for instance, in our solar system, seven sacred planets, which correspond to the seven individual force centres in man, the seven energy centres of the One to Whom I have referred in my other books as the One About Whom Naught Can Be Said. (16 – 9/12).
(4) The heavens, the constellations, signs and planets, mean one thing to the Hierarchy, and another thing to the astronomers, and still another [Page 31]thing to the astrologers, whilst they are simply bewildering galaxies of light to the average citizen. (16 – 257).
(5) Certain basic changes in the orientation of the Earth's axis are now taking place, and these will throw much confusion into the computations of astrologers. These changes are proceeding slowly and progressively, and according to cosmic law. Whilst they are in progress, accuracy of computation and deduction is unattainable. When the orientation and "pointed direction" of the Earth's pole has again been stabilised, the new conditioning mathematical figures can again be ascertained. There has indeed been no true accuracy since ancient Egyptian days. Anything now possible along these lines can only be regarded as approximate, and, therefore, certainty in analysis, prediction and interpretation, is not possible. This whole subject is one of the greatest obscurity, and quite incomprehensible to the average astrologer, and certainly to the average student. I would remind you, how ever, that several times in the great life cycle of the Earth, there have been changing "pole-stars", and that our present pole-star has not always held that position. This science itself recognises.
At each of the great shifts of the Earth's axis, there has been upheaval, confusion, and cataclysm, preceding reconstruction, stabilisation, and relative quiet. Of these macrocosmic events, there are similar microcosmic correspondences in the lives of both humanity and individual man. (16 – 408).
(6) I cannot too strongly repeat, that esoteric astrology is entirely concerned with the forces and energies which affect the consciousness aspect of the human being, and condition the personality life. This is the point which must be considered above all else. In other words, esoteric astrology is concerned with the soul, and not with the form and, therefore, all that I have to say refers to consciousness, to its expansion, to its effect upon its vehicles, the form, and – in the last analysis (as will be later established) – with the Science of Initiation. (16 – 484).
(1) I would recall to your minds the knowledge that the aura which each of you has created around the central nucleus of your incarnated self or soul, is a fragment of the overshadowing soul, which brought you into manifestation. This aura is (as you well know) composed of the emanations of the etheric body, and this in its turn embodies three types of energy for [Page 32] which you are individually responsible. These three types are (when added to the energy of prana, which composes the etheric vehicles):
1. The health aura. This is essentially physical.
2. The astral aura, which is usually by far the most dominant factor, extensive and controlling.
3. The mental aura, which is in most cases relatively small, but which develops rapidly, once the disciple takes his own development consciously in hand, or once the polarisation of the personality is upon the mental plane. The time will eventually come when the mental aura will obliterate (if I may use such an inadequate term) the emotional or astral aura, and then the soul quality of love will create a substitute, so that the needed sensitivity does not entirely disappear, but is of a higher and far more acute nature.
In this threefold aura (or more correctly, fourfold, if you count the etheric vehicle) every individual lives, and moves and has his being; it is this living, vital aura, which is the recording agent of all impressions, both objective and subjective. It is this "agent of sensitive response" which the indwelling self has to control and use, in order to register impression, or to direct etheric or mental impression out into the world of men. Astral impression is purely selfish and individual and, though it may affect a man's surroundings, is not directed as are the other energies registered. It is the aura which predominantly creates the effects which a person has upon his associates; it is not primarily his words which produce reactions, even though they are supposed to embody his reactions and his thinking, but which are, in reality, usually expressions of his emotional desires.
All of us, therefore, carry around with us a subjective mechanism, which is a true and perfect picture of our peculiar point in evolution. It is the aura which a Master watches, and this is a factor of major importance in the life of a disciple. The light of the soul within the aura, and the condition of the various aspects of the aura, indicate whether or not the disciple is nearing the Path of Discipleship. As the emotional reactions lessen, and as the mental apparatus clarifies, the progress of the aspirant can be exactly noted. I would have you distinguish carefully between the astral and the mental bodies, and that which they emanate. The bodies (so called) are substantial in nature; the aura is essentially radiatory and extends from each substantial vehicle in every direction. This is a point which should be most carefully noted. (11 – 97/8).
(2) These centres, or their vibrations, are in reality what creates or constitutes the so-called aura of the human being, even though that aura [Page 33] is frequently confused with the health aura. Instead of the word "frequently" I had almost said "usually", because that would be more definitely correct. It is the etheric body which indicates and conditions the aura. (11 – 173).
(3) The "sphere of radiation" (aura) is easily determined by those who seek it out, and who watch the effect of the radiation upon people in their community and environment. One highly emotional person, working through an overdeveloped and uncontrolled solar plexus centre, can wreck a home or an institution. I give this as an illustration. One radiant, creative life, consciously using the heart or the throat centres, can carry inspiration to hundreds. These are points well worth careful consideration. You must, however, bear in mind that these centres are brought into activity by the cultivation of certain major virtues, and not by meditation, or concentration upon the centres. They are brought automatically into the needed radiatory condition, by right living, high thinking, and loving activity. These virtues may seem to you dull and uninteresting, but they are most potent and scientifically effective in bringing the centres into the desired radiatory activity. When the task is done, and when all the centres are living spheres of outgoing radiatory activity, they swing into each others' orbit, so that the initiate becomes a centre of living light, and not a composite of seven radiant centres. Think on this. (11 – 175).
(4) Forget not that as you look out upon the world and your immediate environment, that you look out through your aura and have, therefore, to deal with glamour and illusion. (10 – 35).
(5) I have watched you succeed and I have seen you fail. This I do through noting the pulsation of your light – not in watching the detail of your daily living. (5 – 98).
See also: (5 – 752/3).